UFC president Dana White has pulled the old switcheroo once again.
White has been adamant for the last couple of months that the previously announced UFC middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre was no longer being considered for the late-2017 schedule. There was no sign of that changing as UFC 214 crept closer, as White told the media that the “ship had sailed” on the bout and that the winner of the Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia welterweight title fight would instead face the returning St-Pierre, while Bisping would face recently crowned interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker.
However, at the UFC 214 post-fight presser, White revealed that he had had one of his, to quote Mr. Burns, trademark changes of heart.
“That ship f*cking turned around and sailed back,” said White(via MMAFghting).
Though White didn’t reveal a date, ever reliable MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani has reported that the fight will take place at UFC 217 on November 4th inside the famed Madison Square Garden.
Interestingly, White tried to suggest that the decision to resuscitate Bisping vs. St-Pierre was one that he arrived at all of a sudden, adding that Woodley’s snore-stimulating five-round feint-fest against Maia had pushed him in that direction. When asked to pinpoint the exact moment that he decided to re-book Bisping vs. St-Pierre, White responded emphatically.
“Fucking round 5 [of Woodley vs. Maia],” said the president.
Woodley and Maia drew vociferous boos from the crowd in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim. It wasn’t difficult to understand why, as the fighters combined to throw the least amount of total strikes ever in a UFC fight.
“If you get booed out of the arena, that’s not good,” White said. “That’s not how you make your money. If people don’t want to watch you, that’s a bad sign.”
“I know that Michael Bisping will show up and fight,” he added later. “No doubt about it.”